Tuesday, December 20, 2011

"Into the Wind", 8x8, oil on board, by Maryanne Jacobsen

SOLD"Into the Wind", 8x8, oil on board, by Maryanne Jacobsen

I painted this little scene after returning home from a vacation in Maine, where I was inspired by all the diversity of boats. The painting was done with a limtied palette as described below. The painting is available through Lorica Artworks in Andover, Massachusetts. You can reach them at (978) 470-1829 .

Here is more about the painting and the palette:

This painting was very challenging (color-wise) for me. I'd noticed that I have been putting a predominance of warms in my paintings and am not having enough cools to balance them out. So I gave myself a challenge today. I limited my palette extremely!

Yes, I said extremely!

I had absolutely no oranges on my palette or yellows!

I used the coolest red imaginable (Magenta) as my warmest red, and added a cool red (violet) to balance it out. I added a cool blue (cobalt) and a warm blue (ultramarine), plus a cool green (viridian) and a warm green (cinnabar) and that was all I used! Does anyone have any idea how hard this was for me- a colorist?

That normally has a zillion colors on her palette?

At any rate, I like the fact that the painting looks uniform. That's what I was seeking when I started out. I know I could have really popped those sails with some yellow and oranges, but guess what? I used restraint!

The boat in the painting is some sort of tourist boat that goes out of Bar Harbor on a regular basis. It's really lovely with those maroon sales, and I was happy I was able to catch a photo of it while we were there to use as a reference for my painting!

I decide not to add the flags, because that begged color!

Please send me an email if you are interested in purchasing this painting.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

"Reverence", 24x18-by Maryanne Jacobsen

SOLD"Reverence", 24x18by Maryanne Jacobsen
Note: click on the image to see the impasto better!

I have not done a Big Sur painting in a long time, so for the past couple days I worked on this one. Those ugly rocks in the foreground were kind of a drag but they were in my photo so I had to put them in. This is Big Sur in the afternoon, looking north towards the Bixby bridge which I indicated in the background.

I took the photo about 5 years ago during a trip up the coast. The painting was done with mostly a palette knife and some brushwork.

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Monday, December 12, 2011

"Me and My Teddy Bear", 6x6, oil on museum-quality gessoboard, by Maryanne Jacobsen

"Me and My Teddy Bear", 6x6, oil on museum-quality gessoboard, by Maryanne Jacobsen

Back when I had my dance school, I often used the song "Me and my Teddy Bear" for my three and four year-olds in the end of year recital. The parents loved it, and so did the little girls, who got to hold their precious little bears in their arms as they danced.

How many little girls (and boys, too for that matter!) do you know who haven't loved a special bear and one time in their life?

If you would like to purchase this painting, please use the Paypal button below.

And if you are not familiar with the old tune, here are the lyrics:

Me and my teddy bear
Have no worries have no care
Me and my teddy bear
Just play and play all day.

I love my teddy bear
He has one eye and has no hair
I love my teddy bear
We play and play all day.

Every night he's with me
When I climb up the stairs
And by my bed he listens
Until I say my prayers.

Oh, me and my teddy bear
Have no worries have no care
Me and my teddy bear
We play and play
All day!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

"Amazing Grace-Eirinn Abu", 16x20, oil on linen, award-winning paintings, paintings of musicians,saxophone players

"Amazing Grace-Eirinn Abu", 16x20, oil on linen

Note: This painting has won a second place award at The Venice Art Center's 2012 Portrait and Figurative exhibit!

Today I had every intention of doing something small, pretty and very impressionistic. But the painting of Eirinn Abu, which I did last week, kept nagging at me, since it was sitting right there accusing me of being nonchalant.

Nonchalant? Yes, I suppose sometimes I get nonchalant about paintings. I figure that if I am about 90% happy with a painting , then it can pass for done. In this case, I knew there were a couple things that needed attention, so in spite of my earlier desire to paint something simple, I spent another day on Eirinn.

I worked on his jeans and on the saxophone, which I had muddled through because I was tired. I added a glaze or two to the background and tried to bring the cross into more prominence without detracting from the musician.

Anyhow, I really am done this time! Below, is the painting that I completed last week. I think it's a bit better now, but I invite your comments.

"Amazing Grace-Eirinn Abu", 16x20, oil on linen

I've been working on this one for a few days and today I decided to call it done. Isn't it hard sometimes to know when to say "done!"????? On second glance there always seems to be something else to add subtract or change, and then one risks the freshness while trying to perfect the likeness.

I tried to keep this painterly and impressionistic, and didn't want to define the details too much, since the photo and distracting lighting left more questions than answers in my head. We all know better than to attempt a still life or portrait when there are lots of competing light sources. This was a good lesson for me, in trying to use the knowledge I have about light, and ignore the conflicts in the photo. I hope I was successful.

The sax player in the painting is Eirinn Abu, who is considered one of the finest instrumentalists in the world. Eirinn came to our church one day and played his sax, and he blessed every single person in the room with his beautiful rendition of Amazing Grace. One could feel the Holy Spirit's presence as he played and it was very moving.

Eirinn has a wonderful testimony. In spite of all of his success in Nashville while performing with greats like Dolly Parton, Eirinn confessed that he had felt empty inside. Eventually he gave up the fast lane and now he goes from church to church and function to function (he especially has a heart for breast cancer victims), to play hymns of grace and redemption on his brass horn.

Although I played a woodwind instrument (bassoon) in the high school orchestra, I have always loved the horns most of all, and often choreographed dances to Handel when I had my ballet company. Now, I paint to the magnificent strains of both Handel and Eirinn Abu!

Eirinn came back to our church this past weekend with his beautiful wife Brandy, and gave a wonderful Christmas concert, that incorporated many different types of music into one concert. It was a real blessing to all of us to hear Eirinn again, and I sat in the front row so I could try to see if I was on the right track with my painting! The lighting was totally different, but it did help the painting a bit to see him perform again and study his features.

Thanks so much to Pastor Joy for taking the reference photo and giving me permission to use it, and thanks especially to the Lord for enabling me to paint this! It wasn't easy!

This painting is not for sale at this time. If you would like to hear and watch Eirinn play the sax, you can click here for a Youtube video.

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Friday, December 09, 2011

"Remains of the Day", plein air, 20x16, oil on board

"Remains of the Day", plein air 20x16, oil on board

I started this one out in the back of my house right around Thanksgiving week when the Cassia shrub was in full bloom. I went out around 4:15 and the light across the lawn was really lovely. However, within 45 minutes the shadows were gone and it was almost dark, so I had to come in.
I finally finished it yesterday.

You can see from the photo below how the gold of the cassia literally lit up the entire landscape so that was my focal point.

This painting is available for purchase. Just send me an email at maryannejacobsen@aol.com if you are interested in this painting of a Florida garden in the fall.

To read more about cassia trees, and order your own (they're really easy to grow), just go here.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

My Wild and Sexy Garden, 11x14, oil on museum wrapped canvas by Maryanne Jacobsen

My Wild and Sexy Garden, 11x14, oil on museum wrapped canvas-$450

Can a garden be sexy? Don't bother answering that question because I already know the answer!


I happen to hate gardens that are overly manicured, which has gotten me into trouble more than once with both my husband and my groundskeeper. I don't like to cut things back too much. That has created problems each time I've decided to sell my current house, so now I try to stay on top of things. You just never know when it's time to move.

I actually almost killed my hubby when he chopped down my frangipani tree. He still hasn't heard the last of it. But that's another story.

Anyhow, this is not my garden. You don't want to see my garden! This one is a bit wild, but tended well. I have painted this scene before a long time ago when I first started painting and I had loved the way it came out, but I wanted to paint it again because I had so much fun the first time.

Musicians play the same song over and over again. Why shouldn't painters repeat the same scene if they like it enough?

Anyhow, if you want a wild and sexy garden all for your own, you can buy this painting and skip all the work. Just use the PayPal button below.

Buy this painting on PayPal
Price: $450.00 plus $10.00 s/h
Or, send me an email

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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

"Panda Magic", panda painting, panda eating bamboo

SOLD"Panda Magic", 8x10, oil on canvas

This painting is sold, but if you would like to commission a panda painting to give as a gift for Christmas to that panda lover in your life, just send me an email at maryanneJacobsen@aol.com.

A trip to San Diego would hardly be complete without a visit to the city's world class zoo. This zoo rivals any zoo I have ever visited, and although I hate to see animals in captivity, I was assured by friends that this zoo would make me feel better about that. In truth, I was very impressed with this zoo, as it has gone to great lengths to re-create the natural environment that the animals would normally live in. The animals are very well cared for, and when one considers that man is the greatest threat to some of the most endangered of the species found here, it makes sense to try to house them in a beautiful place where they can be nurtured and cared for.

The pandas are on loan from China, and are the most popular of the exhibits at the zoo.

After viewing the pandas munching peacefully on bamboo stalks, I realized why these animals are so beloved by humans.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Self Portrait, Maryanne Jacobsen

"Self Portrait at 50", 16x20, oil on linen

I started painting this a while back for a self-portrait competition. Eventually, I gave up on the competition and put the painting away. Today I took it out and worked on it for awhile, and I think it came out as a pretty good likeness in the end.

I was wearing way too much make-up for a 50 year old, but at least I was having a good hair day. Here's the reference photo that I used, which was shot in the porch of my home in Chester Springs back in 2002:

Boy, I wish I was still 112 pounds!

Monday, November 28, 2011

"Time to Go", 14x11, oil on canvas board- by Maryanne Jacobsen, People's Choice Award winner

"Time to Go", 14x11, oil on canvas board- (aka "Just Leaving")

This painting received the People's Choice Award last week at The Venice Art Center's annual Fall Member's exhibit. This is one of the art center's most popular exhibits each year, so I was very happy to learn that the people who attended the exhibit had liked it enough to vote for it. I did not attend the opening reception so I did not know I had received the award until today.

This painting was also one of two selected for The Best Of Worldwide Oil Artists, Volume 2.

Hope everyone had a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 14, 2011

"Twin Pines, Venice Beach", plein air, 12x16, oil on board

"Twin Pines, Venice Beach", plein air, 12x16, oil on board

I decided to take advantage of the lovely weather and went out to the beach this afternoon to paint. The Venice plein air group was meeting at Casperson Beach to paint, but as I reached the turn on Harbor Drive that leads to Casperson, I spied the twins with their graceful long trunks extending high above the rest of the scrub pines. So I turned into that beach instead, which is just north of the fishing pier and painted the twin pines for about an hour and a half. The sun was just starting to turn everything that bewitching orangey color as I packed up my gear right before sunset. I missed a beautiful sunset painting, but still enjoyed the sky on the way home.

The eagles used to build their nests in these trees, but I haven't seen them in a few years. Please send me an email if you are interested in this painting. It's probably my last painting for a while, since the family is coming in next week for Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Another first place ribbon!


I was very honored to receive a first place award last night for my painting of the Monterey "treasure" coast . The painting can be seen at the North Port Art Center's "Treasures" exhibit through December. I featured the leaning cypress trees and ice plants in the painting of Monterey's beautiful coastline and used a palette knife only. The painting has bold color and thick impasto.

To read more about the painting, please go here.

Monday, November 07, 2011

"Three Butterflies", each painting measures 5x7, oil on board

"Three butterflies", each are 5x7, oil on board (Note: You can click on the image to see the paintings in more detail.)

My daughter-in-law absolutely loves butterflies. She talks to them and doesn't seem to notice that they're bugs. A while back she asked me to paint her three different butterflies on small supports. I have been working on these and finally finished the last one today. I am going to frame them all in pretty gold plein air frames, and give them to her for her birthday next week.

Ssssshhhhh! Don't tell her!

It was the first time that I ever attempted to paint butterflies, and I found them rather intricate. The one in the middle is the first one that I did, and the one I am least happy with. I do think I improved as I went along, however.

I hope that she likes them!

Thursday, November 03, 2011

"Tall Trees, Spanish Point plein air study" 12x16, oil on board by Maryanne Jacobsen, plein air, alla prima, Florida art, Tall trees, Florida arbor

"Tall Trees, Spanish Point plein air study" 12x16, oil on board

I painted this morning with the Sun Coast plein air group again. It was a gorgeous day but the mosquitoes were very nasty. I think I have about 25 bites on me! I was not as pleased with this one as I was with last week's plein air attempt, but practice makes perfect and I am going to keep at it while the weather in Florida is beautiful and the temperature is bearable enough to paint outside.

This was the tree mass that I was painting:
I loved the contrast of light and shadow masses, but as the painting progressed, I'm afraid I lost some of the original intent. I may need to add something darker to my palette other than ultramarine blue and violet. It just doesn't seem to do the job on a painting with this much contrast. Would love to hear anyone else's suggestions on this one. I have indigo in my paint box, but I'm afraid to use it! So dark!

Historic Spanish Point is a very lovely place. It is a horticulturist's amd environmentalist's delight, and has a very long history. The grounds border Sarasota Bay, and include a sunken garden, a butterfly garden, old boats and a boat house, a few historic cottages, a shell museum, a chapel, and an Indian burial mound. I wanted to paint at the chapel, but the bugs were too nasty. Next time I'll bring Deet! I hope we get to paint there again soon! Thank-you Lord for such a lovely day!

This painting will be included in the upcoming show of the Venice Plein air painters in January.

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Sunday, October 30, 2011

"Just Leaving", 48x60, oil on board by Maryanne Jacobsen, great blue heron, Florida beach paintings, large paintings, beach path, impasto, alla prima,

SOLD"Just Leaving", 48x60, oil on board by Maryanne Jacobsen (Note: You can click on the image if you wish to see it better.)

This painting of a great blue heron on a Florida Beach was a recent commission that I rec'd from an agent, which had been requested by a large luxury hotel chain that I had worked with in the past. With a very short deadline requirement, I knew that I had to do something out of the ordinary in order to speed up the drying time of oil paint. So I decided to use Gamblin's Fast matte alkyd white and mix the white with all the other colors on my palette in order to get the painting to dry quickly. I don't really like the tacky consistency of the fast matte paint, but it does work really well for plein air paint-outs and if you are traveling and need the painting to dry quickly. So I decided it was the best route to take, as long as I remembered to mix all my colors with the whites! (Guess what, I didn't.)

Unfortunately, right after I rec'd a verbal approval from the company to proceed with the commission, I hurt my back pretty badly. In retrospect I think I should have realized that my back was more important than the commission, but being the conscientious individual that I am, I loaded up on Advil and tried to think positive thoughts as I climbed up and down on a footstool and tried to paint the top portion of the painting. Next I was afraid to adjust the easel when I needed to paint the lower part of the painting, since the board was quite heavy, so I sat on the footstool instead while I painted the lower third.

I must say that I have absolutely no idea how people sit while they paint! To me it is next to impossible. So with the restrictions that my back was imposing on me, and the bubble gum consistency of the fast matte paint to deal with, I was not a happy camper. In addition, I could not mix color the way that I normally do. Technically I knew that I need to keep my paint vibrant and pure in the foreground and then add white gradually, in order to make the landscape recede as I go into the background. But this rule could not apply now, since I needed to mix everything with white! It was a pure nightmare- painting this!

In the end, the painting came out just fine, but I'll never do a painting this large again. I am an alla prima artist, and there is simply no way to get a painting this size done in one session! Period. I struggled for the better part of a week which meant that the painting could not possibly dry in time for the required deadline! I learned a lot of valuable lessons from this experience, and I think that is a good thing. Here is the process that I used to complete the painting- the largest that i have ever done, by the way.

First I sketched out the composition and basic values on a sketch pad, making sure that I used the same ratio required in the finished painting- in this case 8 inches by 10 inches.

Then I primed the board, using three coats of gesso followed by a light sanding and then a coating of premium acrylic house paint on both sides of the board. The reason that I painted the back side of the board was because I knew a board this large would tend to warp if there was nothing to balance the weight on the front side. Although it will still warp, that can be controlled somewhat in the final framing. Next I applied a very thin glaze of Permanent rose and Indian yellow to the board, let it dry and then sketched out the design with a pastel pencil.

Knowing I needed to work from the back forward, I added the sky and the bird, working hard to keep the paint layer thin, but still vibrant. Using a thin glaze of ultramarine blue, I also added the shadow mass to the would-be foliage.

Next I added the water , which in this case happens to be the Gulf of Mexico. Since I was somewhat limited in terms of impasto, I had to be very careful in my creation of waves, which was pretty stifling to my palette knife style! I discovered a few days later that there were some areas of the water in which I had forgotten to add the fast matte white. Bummer. It wouldn't dry!

Then I worked on the foliage, which was very challenging with all the restrictions that I had.

I waited until the painting had been dry a few days and then I went back in and added the things that it needed- depth of color and some additional natural growth to the foliage.

In the end, I am glad I attempted this in spite of all the difficulties. We always learn from new experiences, and working this big, with a fast-drying white, really showed me that different sizes and different types of paint require different techniques that can be quite challenging!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

"North Jetty Sea Grapes-plein air study", 14x11, oil on board, by Maryanne Jacobsen

"North Jetty Sea Grapes-plein air study", 14x11, oil on board

After almost two weeks of back pain, I woke up today feeling wonderful! Praise the Lord!

My fellowship group prayed for me last night and obviously the Lord heard my prayer because today I was out there painting with my friends from Florida's Sarasota County plein air group at Venice's North Jetty.

The light was awesome when I arrived around 8:45 but as soon as I set up my easel, and knocked out the bright light temperature in my first notes, the light disappeared and I was under a cloud for the next hour. So I stuck with what I had in my head and kept trying to remember the light. By 10:15 I was totally disgusted, when low and behold the sun made another appearance! Wow! Such drama!

The shadows were different but I kept at it for another 20 minutes. I shot a picture and went home and finished it up.

Nothing like painting plein air. The homeless kitties were meowing under the trees, the sunbathers were there in their various apparel and I even had a visit from a very nice Jehovah's Witness. I could hear the soft pounding of the waves of the Gulf against the shoreline just a dozen yards ahead. Here's a view of the seagrape trees that I painted today.

This painting is not for sale at this time.

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Saturday, October 22, 2011

"Fish Beach Road-Monhegan Island", 20x16, award-winning paintings by Maryanne Jacobsen

"Fish Beach Road-Monhegan Island", 20x16, oil on board

It's been a bit of a difficult week, what with my back injury, stress from painting a large commission with a very short deadline, and the passing of two friends yesterday. So I was happy to hear the good news today that I had won a second place award for my painting of Monhegan Island's Fish Beach Road in The Englewood Art Center's "Memory Lane" Exhibit. The Englewood Art Center is a division of The Ringling College of Art and Design.

Thanks to juror Judy Malbuisson for her nice comments about the painting: "Wonderful use of glowing colors. Good perspective and brush technique." Judy is the Executive Director of the Arts and Humanities Council of Charlotte County.

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Friday, October 14, 2011

Blue Cap, 14x18, oil on canvas

"Blue Cap", 14x18, oil on canvas

This was my first time back to the Venice Art Center's life study group since June. We paint from live models for 2 and a half hours on Fridays and I don't really know why I took the summer off, but I did. It was good to be back today, and the model is an artist himself. He sat for us and painted the entire time we painted him. How cool is that?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Crystal blue persuasian", 8x10, oil on linen, paintings of blue flowers, hydranges, crystal vase, wedding bouquets, blue, apple, red, white and blue

"Crystal Blue Persuasion", 8x10, oil on linen -

I've noticed that nowadays when young ladies get married, they all seem to pick the latest trendy colors for their bridesmaid's gowns and their flowers. Sage and chocolate and black and ivory are all wonderful colors for weddings. But I guess I am an old-fashioned girl, because i must confess that I'll always love baby blue.

I watch "Dancing with the Stars" pretty regularly and last week I was taken with how lovely Nancy Grace looked in a baby blue gown, dancing a waltz to "Moon River". Now no matter what you think of Nancy ( I happen to admire her tremendously for stepping out of her comfort zone to do DWTS), you have got to admit that the look of that soft blue gown on her, softened her look tremendously.

So maybe young ladies don't want to look soft and feminine anymore. I just don't know. All I know as I still love old fashioned blue and English cottage gardens, and mounds of hydrangeas and crystal. What about you?

In the meantime, I am off to go listen to some oldies, which includes the 60's hit, Crystal Blue Persuasion, which inspired the title of the painting. The song is by Tommy James and the Shondells, and I found an interesting interview with James about the meaning of the song. The song has a light ethereal quality to it, and although many people thought it was about drugs, it is actually about James having become a Christian and an image he had of a crystal blue lake, which was straight of the Book of Revelations, Chapter 19. You can read the interview here, and listen to the track here.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

"Just Pear-fect!" 5x7, oil on boardm paintings of fruit, pears, food, food art, Maryanne Jacobsen art

"Just Pear-fect!" 5x7, oil on board

I love painting fruit. Fruit is colorful, interesting in terms of shape, and falls beautifully into the simplest compositions. It is almost restful to paint fruit and pears are especially fun because they vary enough in size and color to ensure that every pear that is painted will be different from those I've painted before!

This type of thinking may sound a little boring to non-painters, but to me at least, it's interesting.

I painted this yesterday in the hopes I could find time today to do another pear painting. Then I would have had a pair of pears. Sigh. How delightful would that have been? Well, the second pear just didn't happen and with other responsibilities looming including an important new commission I don't think it will happen.

So I hope you enjoy my little pear, and please send me an email at maryannejacobsen@aol.com if you are interested in purchasing this little painting. To visit my official website and learn more about me and my art, please go here.

Monday, October 10, 2011

"Thank Heaven for little Girls", 12x16, oil on linen by Maryanne Jacobsen

"Thank Heaven for Little Girls", 12x16, oil on linen by Maryanne Jacobsen

I went back to this today when I was feeling fresher and worked on some passages that I knew needed work. I could almost hear Maurice Chevalier singing in my ear as I signed this one, hence the new title.

I painted this on a sheet of linen that comes in a pad and I guess I should have stretched it first. I am hoping that when it is completely dry, I'll be able to stretch it without any problem. Since I've always used pre-stretched canvas or linen before, I'd appreciate any tips you all can give me!

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Friday, October 07, 2011

"Baby Ballerina", 12x16, oil on linen by Maryanne Jacobsen

"Baby Ballerina", 12x16, oil on linen by Maryanne Jacobsen

I've been working on this one all week, and although I feel that it needs a bit more development, I need to put it aside for now because of other responsibilities.

I was really excited about this painting earlier in the week, and I am feeling pretty good about the way that it is developing. Please let me know what you think as well! Hopefully, I'll get around to putting the finishing touches on it in the near future, but a new commission with a close deadline has my undivided attention for now.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

"Evening Path through the Park", 8x10, oil on linen

SOLD "Evening Path through the Park", 8x10, oil on linen

I've been working on a new figurative painting and I'm very excited about it! In fact, I don't think I've been this excited about a painting since "Renaissance Child"! It's going to take a while but hopefully I'll have something to show for my efforts in a few days and I won't mess it up.

In the meantime, I did this quick study afterwards to help me unwind after all that concentration!

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Friday, September 30, 2011

"The Old Springhouse", 16x12, oil on gessoboard, by Maryanne Jacobsen, palette knife landscape, Pennsylvania springhouse, old buildings, impressionism

"The Old Springhouse", 16x12, oil on gessoboard by Maryanne JAcobsen

This is a painting of an old springhouse that was up the road from my last house in Chester Springs, Pa. The building may be old but it has a tremendous amount of character, and with the dappled light cascading over it, I knew immediately that I wanted to paint it.

In case you are not familiar with what a springhouse is, here's a definition from Wikipedia: A spring house, or springhouse, is a small building used for refrigeration once commonly found in rural areas before the advent of electric refrigeration. It is usually a one-room building constructed over the source of a spring. The water of the spring maintains a constant cool temperature inside the spring house throughout the year. In settings where no natural spring is available, another source of natural running water, such as a small creek or diverted portion of a larger creek, may be used. The main use of a spring house is for the long-term storage of food that would otherwise spoil, such as meat, fruit or dairy products.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

"Rue de la Fontaine, Roussillon", 10x8, oil on linen

"Rue de la Fontaine, Roussillon", 10x8, oil on linen

Roussillon, the ochre-colored village in southeastern Provence has dramatically different architecture than other villages in Provence since its buildings are derived from ochre colored rock rather than the limestone we are so used to seeing associated with Provence. Its history is fascinating as well, and you can read about it here if you are interested in the Moors, and Catalans and the Crown of Aragon, since it's after midnight and I am too tired to write about it myself!

If you are interested in this painting, please send me an email at maryannejacobsen@aol.com.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

"Ice Plant Season" 14x11, oil on linen board by Maryanne Jacobsen, California landscapes, ice plants, leaning cypress trees , Monterey

" Ice Plant Season" 14x11, oil on linen board

We drove up the California coast a couple years ago all the way from Santa Monica north to San Francesco, and the beauty of the California coast was truly an amazing thing to behold. The ride was long but we broke it up by stopping at Cambria to visit with my husband's brother and his wife and we stayed at a beautiful Inn right on the Pacific ocean. Cambria was a small Western-style town with a couple art galleries on the main road and even some adorable Victorian buildings!

The next day we were back on the road and traveled the coastal highway all along Big Sur and the Santa Cruz mountain range where the scenery was beyond spectacular. Since I hate heights, I was a little freaked out by the highway, but I managed to catch some great views nonetheless. We had a late lunch in Fisherman's Village in Monterey right before we got to San Francesco. I think I caught this scene somewhere near Monterey or Santa Cruz, but we hit so many spots during that trip that it's kind of a blur.

The scene was clearly spectacular. There were these weird icy pink-purple flowers all over the place and the trees there were so wind-swept it was as though the winds had bent their frail backbones for centuries! I think these were cypress trees and I must confess that between these Cypress trees and the California eucalyptus trees, I could move to California just for the trees alone!

Since then I have returned to California quite a few times, and I have seen these ice plants all along the southern coast as well. The first time that I saw these ice plants I think that my mouth dropped open and I gasped out loud. They were grouped in mounds of gorgeous vivacious pink flowers and you can find them clustered together on hilltops and in valleys and wherever the eye can see. Sometimes you'll catch them mingled with the California blue lupine and that is truly a scene of paradise on earth!

In this painting, I decided to combine two treasures of the Monterey Coast- the ice plants cascading down the beach right along the leaning cypress grove. Such drama is second to none if you are painting landscapes!

I have been painting my favorite places on earth recently- from Maine to Provence to the coast of California. We are truly blessed to live in an age where trips to these wonderful places are just a fingertip away!

Monday, September 26, 2011

"Mission Capistrano Warmth", 14x11, oil on canvas panel

"Mission Capistrano Warmth", 14x11, oil on canvas panel

I often find myself envying the artists who live in southern California. Although I know envy is not a very pleasant trait to possess, I would move to California in a heartbeat if I were younger. It is one of the loveliest places on earth with its dramatic seacoast, beautiful mountain ranges and unusual trees and flora. It is no wonder the American impressionist movement took a firm hold there!

I've done quite a few paintings of Mission San Juan Capistrano. So although this one is sold, do put Mission Capistrano into the keyword search and see what else is available. There's a couple good ones left!

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Saturday, September 24, 2011

"Provencal Skyline-Brantes", 5x7, oil on board by Maryanne Jacobsen

"Provencal Skyline-Brantes", 5x7, oil on board I must confess that after working for two days on that lackluster painting of a dreary garden in Denmark, I needed a pick-me -upper. So I went back to the place where my heart has always been from a very young age- Provence.

I won't bore you with the details of why my heart is most likely as French as truffles, but in truth I suspect that it is, was and always will be.

I must also give credit to Deborah Lawrenson, British author extraordinaire and art collector for tugging my heartstrings with the recent reading of her book, "The Lantern". Her vibrant imagery of the Provencal landscape re-awakened my desire to paint more paintings of this incredibly medieval, mystical, captivating and majestic place.

"Cottonwood Trail-Colorado", 9x12, oil on Raymar panel

"Cottonwood Trail-Colorado", 9x12, oil on Raymar panel

In contrast to yesterday's rather somber Scandinavian palette, this painting reflects my joy for all scenes autumnal. Maybe it's that I was born in October, or maybe it's because I adore color- whatever it is, I just love painting autumn landscapes because it allows me to really push the colors:0)

I painted this two years ago in October after returning from a trip out west after one of my paintings was juried into The American Impressionist Society's show at the Saks Gallery in Denver. We took some extra time on the trip to enjoy the beautiful Western scenery, and one of the high points of the trip was visiting Rio Grande country.

I have always been a little intimidated about painting mountains, because it's not scenery that I grew up with being from the east coast. So in this painting, i decided to just have fun pushing the colors and not worry too much about defining the mountains perfectly. I used some of what I learned from Edgar Payne's book on composition to play around with the scene to create a more pleasing composition, adding complimentary colors on the right and extending the trail to eliminate the boring empty road space in the lower right hand quadrant.

I wanted to push the warmness of the scene and I think the painting ended up having a happy feel to it, with warm lights and cool shadows.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Autumn's First Blush, 7x5, oil on board

Autumn's First Blush, 7x5, oil on board

Notes of raspberry, lime and orange infuse this small piece with light and color reminiscent of autumn's first blush. Painted with both brush and palette knife, this scene could be Tuscany, Provence, or virtually anywhere in the world where the kiss of early fall makes her first appearance.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

"Blue Door-Provence", 5x7, oil on board-by Maryanne Jacobsen, paintings of Provence, blue doors


"Blue Door-Provence", 5x7, oil on board

What's not to like about Provence?

Old medieval villages perched on mountainsides like teetering wedding cakes bask in the golden sunlight all year long- the limestone turning from orange to soft pink as the sun sinks lower into the horizon at sundown. Bright blue doors and shutters provide just the right impressionist vibration against that orange glow of the old walls, and the various mountain ranges (Alps, Vaucluse and Luberon) fade to soft purples and grayish blues as they recede into the distance of the backdrop.

I recently finished Deborah Lawrenson's beautiful book, "The Lantern", and I have wanted to do another painting of Provence while her vibrant imagery of the region is still fresh in my mind. The setting for this modern Gothic romantic novel is Provence, and I highly recommend this book for anyone who loves all things Provence! Please check out the book here, and take a moment to visit Deborah's lovely blog here.

I hope to do more paintings of Provence in the future, and Deborah was generous in sending me some photos of that glorious golden light falling into bewitching patterns across her lovely property in Provence. The scene above is typical of the little villages that can be found throughout Provence, each having their own distinct personalities. As an impressionist painter, I am very envious of that lovely soft, diffused light quality that pervades the Mediterranean region.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

"David's Sunflowers", 24x24, oil on board

"David's Sunflowers", 24x24, oil on board

This was a commissioned piece and is not for sale. The person requested these "muted" colors and based upon my mood lately, I can appreciate the subtlety. I used a limited palette and omitted the warm reds and greens entirely. It's rather Van Gogh-esque, I suppose.

Please contact me if you would like to commission a painting. My email address is maryannejacobsen@aol.com.